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Old 09-06-2017, 11:32 PM
cds43016 cds43016 is offline
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Storing Components and reloading equipment  in an unheated garage Storing Components and reloading equipment  in an unheated garage Storing Components and reloading equipment  in an unheated garage Storing Components and reloading equipment  in an unheated garage Storing Components and reloading equipment  in an unheated garage  
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Default Storing Components and reloading equipment in an unheated garage

I always stored my reloading components and equipment inside the house where the temperature and humidity was controlled. I just moved to a new house and don't have as much room.

I will continue to store my powder and primers inside the house but I would like to store my bullets and brass in an unheated attached garage. I load primarily lead bullets - poly coated and lubed. I can't imagine this would a problem but I want to be sure I'm not overlooking anything.

I will also have my presses,dies, scales etc. out in the garage. Any tips on how to best prevent rust or other problems?

Thanks

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Old 09-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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I am in a similar situation right now.

I am moving from two locations totaling over 3000 sq feet with no garage to one location over 2000 square feet but with a garage.

We have no cold in Florida, but we do have humidity and the new location is at the Inter-coastal waterway, so there is a high salt content in that humidity

My presses and dies will be stored indoors, but the projectiles and brass has to go in the garage.

I have always put my tumbled brass in large plastic pretzel/candy/snack jars like the kind you get at the Wholesale Clubs, and I have LOTS of brass. Probably 15+ of these jars

These will go on large storage racking and will have no problems with the humidity

I also have LOTS of projectiles on hand. Here is one of the two small racks in my old location

For these, I purchased many 50 caliber ammo cans. These will keep the moisture out of the projectiles way. These are also going to be stored on the racking in the garage.

BTW, a 50 cal can with 4000, 357 Magnum JHP projectiles in it weighs over 70 pounds

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Old 09-07-2017, 12:03 AM
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Moisture is your biggest problem. If humidity is low, Not much of a deal. In humid climate, closed containers & desicant packs are your friend.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
I am in a similar situation right now.

I am moving from two locations totaling over 3000 sq feet with no garage to one location over 2000 square feet but with a garage.

We have no cold in Florida, but we do have humidity and the new location is at the Inter-coastal waterway, so there is a high salt content in that humidity

My presses and dies will be stored indoors, but the projectiles and brass has to go in the garage.

I have always put my tumbled brass in large plastic pretzel/candy/snack jars like the kind you get at the Wholesale Clubs, and I have LOTS of brass. Probably 15+ of these jars

These will go on large storage racking and will have no problems with the humidity

I also have LOTS of projectiles on hand. Here is one of the two small racks in my old location

For these, I purchased many 50 caliber ammo cans. These will keep the moisture out of the projectiles way. These are also going to be stored on the racking in the garage.

BTW, a 50 cal can with 4000, 357 Magnum JHP projectiles in it weighs over 70 pounds
Love .50 cans, also .30 cal cans are nice for lead (1750 140 grain bullets weigh 35 pounds). 20mm for lighter stuff. Eight similar cans and four boards make a useful shelf. Bags of desiccant if you don't live in the desert.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:25 PM
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In my older years, I find that a smaller 16 oz. Planters Peanuts
clear plastic jar filled with the 100 pack bullets or a partial box
of opened 500 bullets...........
is just right for my lifting abilities.

With the new neck surgery, my Doctor has me set at just 40 pounds, right now.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:37 PM
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My unheated garage has temps as low as zero in the winter and 100+ in the summer with high humidity. The only problem I ever have is some rusting of mild steel. Luckily I can keep my reloading equipment and components in a spare bedroom on the second floor.

I'd be inclined to use a rust preventative of some sort on any unfinished metal on the dies and press. The dies could probably be kept in ammo cans with some sort of vapor corrosion inhibitor in the box. You would still have to use some sort of corrosion inhibitor on the press, preferably one that dries to the touch so it wouldn't attract grit. You might find large air tight plastic boxes at your local big box store and be able to place VCI's in the box for the press.

I'd find room for the scale in the house.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:04 PM
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Default I had to leave my house......

...and the garage where I keep things for four months due to a fire. When I got back some of my dies were rusted. I think I'll put a little grease on them if I have to leave them again. Of course, at the time I wasn't thinking about reloading.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:09 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
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I'm not recommending the practice, but I kept all components, including powder and primers in an un-airconditioned garage in Texas for decades with no apparent ill effects. The last few years, I accumulated more powder and ran out of storage space. I also began reading that my storage practice was detrimental to powder and primers, but I think much of this may have come from the Internet, so may not have been accurate information. Anyway, I began keeping most stuff inside. In more than fifty years of handloading, I don't recall having powder deteriorate or primers that didn't go bang.

Whether or not it really makes a difference, I don't know. I doubt my garage temperature exceeded ninety degrees in the summer or twenty-five in the winter. I would guess the humidity level could be called low to moderate.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:23 PM
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I store unprimed brass in canvas shot bags in my garage, bullets too. I live in a warm, humid area (FL) and no issues in over 14 years. My shotgun ammo is also stored in the garage (too much to keep inside)- all goes bang every time
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:32 PM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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I have jacketed and cast lead bullets that have been stored in their original packaging in unheated/unair-conditioned garages in Arkansas and Texas for, in some cases, nearly 40 years. Other than losing their factory shine, they have suffered no degradation.

As far as cases go, I had a batch of 500 cases (Norma brass) in various stages of being processed when I was stricken by a neurologic disease. With other priorities (like just staying alive) to worry about, I didn't look at those cases again for 20 years. When I did, what I found was tarnish and corrosion that varied with how the case had been handled and stored.
  • WORST: Cases in the plastic ziploc bag as received from the seller. As many as 15% of these cases had to be discarded.
  • NEXT: Cases that had been resized and formed and had the resizing lubricant rubbed off but stored in a plastic ziploc bag.
  • NEXT: Cases that had been resized and formed and were stored loose.
  • NEXT: Cases that has been resized and formed and stored in a plastic ammunition box with a separate compartment for each case.
  • BEST: Cases that has been resized and formed and stored in a plastic ammunition box with a separate compartment for each case AND placed inside a sealed steel ammunition can.

After this experience, I now keep all of my brass in plastic ammunition boxes with a separate compartment for each case and MOST of those are stored inside a sealed GI ammunition can with a desiccant bag.

You can get reasonably priced desiccant packets from silicagelpackets.com I pay a little bit extra and get the ones that change color when they are saturated.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:36 PM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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I should also point out that I also stored primers and powders in those garages as well.

I just used up the last of the primers I had bought in the early 1980's and none of them failed.

The only powder to suffer any degradation was Green Dot. All of the others still smelled "right" and had none of the tell-tale "rust like" colors in them and they delivered velocities comparable to ammunition loaded with the same canisters in the mid-1980's.

I agree with storing primer and powder in conditioned space if possible, but if it is not, primers in particular will last a long time in the garage.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:09 PM
cds43016 cds43016 is offline
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Thanks for all the responses.

It looks like it will be OK to store my lead bullets in the garage. I usually have about 5000 on hand at a time and go through them pretty quick. So I'm talking about storage in terms of months rather than years.

I'll try to find a place in a closet for the brass. I have probably no more than 2000-3000 cases at a time and it should be able to find a place inside for them. l will also continue to store powder and primers in a controlled environment as I do with loaded rounds.

To avoid rust on my dies it looks like it's best to keep them inside when I'm done reloading. Many presses have a turret or a removable tool head, including the one I use, which makes it easy to remove the dies without having to reset them at the next reloading session.

The presses are attached to benches and have to stay in the garage. Any recommendations on what to coat them with to avoid rust?

Thanks again
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:26 AM
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I keep a large gun patch clothe coated with transmission fluid and wipe down my press and dies when I'm done.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:40 AM
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I don't reload so I don't have the problem, but from my experiences in the Corps I would say be wary of putting anything of technical spec. Performance that can corrode, oxidize, or tarnish in sealed containers in luring plastic bags. Sealed containers could lead to moisture even though minimal when container internal temperature is different that external. That can happen when say the internal temperature is set by cool night or evening temperatures and then meets warmer temperatures of afternoon. Remember the metallic items will retain a set temperature longer tha. The air around them. That can cause condensation. Changes in humidity add to the problems.

In Nam we dealt with a very corrosive environment in the norther section (I Corps). Cool nights compared to hot days. We stored things so Air would circulate. Moving air drys out moisture.

A locker that has desiccant in it is a good solution. Get some old metal lockers with ventilation vents and add shelves. Buy some 50 pound bags of rice and trays. Add 2 to 3 trays of rice on shelves in the lockers. Rice is a great desiccant and affordable in large quantities, which you can get from restaurant food suppliers.

Get a humidity gauge and put it in one of the lockers to track shifting levels. If the levels start to increase watch them and plan to change the rice.

Rice is also a great way to dry out wet electronics. My wife dropped her mobile phone in the kitchen sink full of water. She pulled it out quickly and dried it. It worked for a few minutes then dried. I buttied it in rice with the charger turned on. Between the moisture absorbing rice and the heat of the charging the phone dried out in about ten hours. It worked fine for years until she upgraded.

Another solution is to thermostatically control the temperature within the lockers by using electric hearters. Warm air is not going to be a problem until it is mixed with cold air. Combine the means and you are going to be very pleased.
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